For many people, the concept of medical malpractice conjures images of a doctor performing a surgery incorrectly or a nurse administering the wrong medication to a person with potentially catastrophic results.
It is unfortunately common for medical malpractice to involve active mistakes like the aforementioned situations. However, it is also possible for medical malpractice to involve an omission or failure on the part of the medical professional.
Failing to diagnose or inaccurately diagnosing someone despite evidence that would lead other medical professionals to an accurate diagnosis being present is actually a common form of medical malpractice.
Not getting a diagnosis means not getting treatment
With medical conditions ranging from heart attack to cancer, timely medical intervention is of the utmost importance for a patient’s likely recovery. The sooner you know the condition itself, the sooner you can begin treatment. Long delays could lead to a worse outcome or a reduction of the available treatments.
If you inform a doctor of symptoms and they either fail to take you seriously or reach an inaccurate conclusion based on those reported symptoms, that could mean a delay in treatment for you with significant, long-term medical consequences. If your doctor diagnoses you with the wrong condition, you could suffer both the harm of not getting treatment and the consequences of unnecessary treatment for a condition you don’t have.
If you can show that other physicians would have been able to reach a proper diagnosis or would have at least been more proactive with asking additional questions or ordering necessary tests, you may have grounds to bring a medical malpractice claim against a physician who failed to diagnose you.